In order to keep with state guidelines, and for customers to maintain their social distance of six feet apart, Vons has
widened their aisles.
In order to keep with state guidelines, and for customers to maintain their social distance of six feet apart, Vons has widened their aisles.
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Hugh Warring, who moved to Piru in 1869. According to an interview in 1930, the Warrings became the owners of the Buckhorn Ranch. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
Hugh Warring, who moved to Piru in 1869. According to an interview in 1930, the Warrings became the owners of the Buckhorn Ranch. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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David Cook of Chicago.
David Cook of Chicago.
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Before the town of Piru was developed, ranchers of the community built a school at Temescal in 1880. The school is now covered by Lake Piru.
Before the town of Piru was developed, ranchers of the community built a school at Temescal in 1880. The school is now covered by Lake Piru.
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Piru (c) 1900
Piru (c) 1900
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

"The Fillmore Historical Museum would like to broaden it's archives on Piru. If you have any documents, family histories, or pictures you would like to share, please contact us at fillmore.museum@gmail.com."

An Incomplete History of Early Piru

The area we know as Piru has long been inhabited, first by the indigenous Chumash and later by European settlers. The purists agree that the correct pronunciation based on the Chumash name is Pee-Ru, not as it is now generally pronounced, Pye-Ru. It seems like this has been a controversy for decades as the July 24, 1930 Piru News captioned a story, “Piruveans want Contest with Owensmouth on Sunday,” regarding an anticipated baseball game. That name goes with Fillmoreans.

The first Europeans to see this valley were Spanish soldiers with the Gaspar de Portolá expedition of 1769, who found a Chumash community at present day Piru. The land was initially under the administration of the Mission system, but after Mexican independence, the land was apportioned out as ranchos to those favored by the Mexican government. The area around Piru was granted to the del Valle family who founded Rancho Camulos. From Rancho Camulos, families such as the Sequieros and Salazars moved into the surrounding area. After it came under United States rule, others soon came into the area such as the Warrings, Hoppers and Whittakers. Many who came from Indiana and Pennsylvania were miners. They were following the stories of rich mineral deposits in the mountains around Piru as early as 1842. The “gold” that would make the valley prosperous would eventually be the citrus industry.

The Warring family came to the Piru area in 1869 from San Jose. They were encouraged to move to the area by a brother-in-law, Ari Hopper, who already was living in the area. According to an interview with Hugh Warring in 1930, they came to own the Buckhorn ranch because the original owner, a man named Hitchcock, admired a revolver Hugh’s father, Benjamin, owned. Mr. Hitchcock got the revolver in exchange for the Buckhorn Ranch. The Ranch got its name from all the racks of deer horns that were displayed. The Ranch became a stopping place for travelers who gave the Ranch its name.

Before the development of the town of Piru, the ranchers in the community built a school at Temescal. It was built around 1880 by Ben Reasoner and Henry Dunton. The site of the school is now covered by Lake Piru.

In 1881, Reginald del Valle of Ranch Camulos ran for Congress against Col Henry Harrison Markham, who was backed by the powerful Southern Pacific. Not surprisingly del Valle lost the election and found himself in debt. To clear his debts, he sold the Temescal Land Grant in 1887 to David Cook of Chicago.

Cook was a wealthy publisher of religious tracts who, like so many Easterners, chose to come to California to improve his ill health. Cook came to the Santa Clara River Valley with the intention of creating a “Second Eden”. Land was planted with crops and olive groves from the Old Testament. Purchasers of the land had to agree to various lifestyles such as not smoking and temperance. The story is told that one potential resident, R. A. Fremlin, was told “better not let Cook see that cigar in your pocket,” to which he is said to have replied, “I’m not going to sneak around for a smoke.” He moved on and settled in Bardsdale.

With his plan for a Biblical paradise made, he laid out a city plan and promoted the new settlement. Work began in 1887 and continued energetically through 1888. Originally the town was to be sited on the south side of the mouth of the river in the Piru Canyon, but the Southern Pacific Railroad refused to run a spur up Piru Canyon. Cook changed the location to the current location. Because the Southern Pacific already had a depot at Rancho Camulos, they refused to build another at Piru. Cook built one at his own cost and paid the salary of the agent.

During the winter of 1887-8 a Methodist-Episcopal Church was erected. This was not the church that stands today but a wood structure that also served as a school. In 1890 the existing building was built and served as a social center of the town as well the Church for decades.

In June 1888, the post office was opened, with G.R. Walden as postmaster, succeeded in a few months by R. Sampson. C.J. French, who arrived May 29, was appointed assistant postmaster.

In the meantime, a general merchandise store had been opened, and in September 1889 was sold to James Parsons and C.J. French, who did business under the firm name of C.J. French Co. Other businesses soon followed.

What is now known as the Piru Mansion, was built by Mr. Cook about 1890. It went through several owners until the Newhalls purchased it. In 1981 they were in the process of restoring when a fire broke out, almost totally destroying the structure. The Newhalls undertook the challenge of again restoring the building.

The community prospered and Mr. Cook’s health improved. Cook sold out to the Piru Oil and Land Company in 1900 after being cured of his ailments and realizing a profit due to recent oil discoveries. He left behind a growing community.

 


 
Adrian Anguiano, 39, Fillmore
Adrian Anguiano, 39, Fillmore

Deputies arrested a Fillmore man for possession for sale of illegal drugs on July 20, 2020.

On July 20, 2020, at 7:36 a.m., Ventura County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center received a call from a Fillmore resident of a suspicious male on the bike path near SR-126 and Sespe Creek. While searching the area, patrol deputies located Adrian Anguiano who matched the description provided by the citizen. During the investigation, deputies discovered Anguiano was on probation for drug related charges. A probation search of Anguiano was conducted and he was found to be in possession of over a pound of methamphetamine and over two ounces of heroin. The found narcotics were packaged in different weights and amounts, indicative of narcotic sales.

Based on the investigation, Anguiano was booked into the Main Jail for felony violations of HS 11378(a) – Possession for sale of a controlled substance, HS 11379(a) – Sale/ Transport/ Offer to sell a controlled substance, HS 11351 / Possession for sale of a controlled substance, and HS 11352(a) / Sale/Transportation/ Offer to sell controlled substance. Anguiano remains in custody with his bail set at $55,000.

The Fillmore Police Department would like to thank members of the public for their on-going support and due diligence in providing information to assist our agency in solving crimes. We are better at what we do because of our community partnerships.

Prepared by: Deputy Veronica Graybill #4569
Approved by: Booking Photo Release: Captain Garo Kuredjian

 


 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

At about 7:20 PM, deputies from the Fillmore Police Department responded to a report of gun shots heard in the area near Mountain View Street at Sespe Avenue and found an unoccupied vehicle had been shot. During the investigation, deputies learned a dark colored sedan stopped in the area. One of the occupants of the sedan shot at several people who were loitering on a sidewalk. The suspect vehicle fled the area. The victims fled the area and were not identified. An unoccupied
vehicle that was parked on the street was struck by a bullet. If anyone has information regarding the identity of the victims or the suspects, they are encouraged to contact the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and Detective Sergeant Steven Jenkins at 805-384-4727.

Prepared by: Sergeant Steven Jenkins
Approved by: Captain Jeff Miller

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

 


 
On Tuesday, July 29th at 2:42pm, Fillmore Fire and Fillmore Police responded to reports of a fire in the 600 block of Ventura Street/SR-126. Once on scene crews found an abounded residence in flames, spreading to a quarter acre of surrounding brush. The fire was extinguished and by 3:07pm the fire was knocked down. Cause of the fire is still under investigation.
On Tuesday, July 29th at 2:42pm, Fillmore Fire and Fillmore Police responded to reports of a fire in the 600 block of Ventura Street/SR-126. Once on scene crews found an abounded residence in flames, spreading to a quarter acre of surrounding brush. The fire was extinguished and by 3:07pm the fire was knocked down. Cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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On Wednesday, July 29th at 6:01pm, Fillmore Police and AMR Paramedics responded to reports of an injury caused by a vehicle which took place in the 700 block of Ventura Street. One person was transported to the local hospital for injuries. No other information was available at press time.
On Wednesday, July 29th at 6:01pm, Fillmore Police and AMR Paramedics responded to reports of an injury caused by a vehicle which took place in the 700 block of Ventura Street. One person was transported to the local hospital for injuries. No other information was available at press time.
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Apricot drying at E.B. Turner Ranch, Sespe. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
Apricot drying at E.B. Turner Ranch, Sespe. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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Royce G. Surdam, father of Bardsdale, who came to Ventura County in 1866 from New York, and became one of the county’s first realtors.
Royce G. Surdam, father of Bardsdale, who came to Ventura County in 1866 from New York, and became one of the county’s first realtors.
View of Bardsdale with the German Evangelical places for the people. Church in the distance.
View of Bardsdale with the German Evangelical places for the people. Church in the distance.
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Men drilling the first water well on the Stringtown Ditch at Shiells Canyon.
Men drilling the first water well on the Stringtown Ditch at Shiells Canyon.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

Bardsdale
By F. L. Fairbanks

From Ventura County Historical Society Quarterly, Vol 1. February, 1956

R. G. Surdam, father of Bardsdale, was born in Dutchess County, New York, on August 11, 1835, according to early histories of Ventura County. We are especially interested in him because he was the County's first realtor.

He came to California in 1854, and to Ventura County in 1866. His first real estate venture was not at Bardsdale but at Ojai, where he purchased 1700 acres from Thomas R. Bard and laid the beginnings of the Town of Nordhoff, whose name was later changed to Ojai. Later, in 1887, he bought from Thomas R. Bard about 1500 acres, land purchased by Bard from the More family. Surdam advertised this tract on a grand scale for those days, one of his advertisements appearing in a recent brochure published by Title Insurance and trust Company and generously distributed by that corporation. The booklet was entitled "The Story of Ventura County." In some of the literature put out by Surdam he made extravagant claims for the land, and Bard, feeling that his name had been used without authorization, made public -contradiction of some of the statements and offered to buy back at cost any parcels which the purchaser felt had been misrepresented.

In Southern California water is ever more important than the land on which it is to be used, so concurrently with the Subdivision there was organized Southside Improvement Company, a California corporation, whose Articles were filed on February 28, 1887. It was organized for the purpose of furnishing domestic and irrigating water to the new community. To each l0-acre parcel of land was assigned 20 shares of stock in the corporation. The first directors were Thomas R. Bard, Cephas L. Bard, R. G. Surdam, E. O. Gerberding and F. W. Gerberding, the two latter being brothers-in-Jaw of Thomas R. Bard.

The eastern boundary of the Bardsdale Tract was the present Chambersburg Road, which is a part of the highway from Fillmore to Moorpark.

As near as I can check from the records in the office of the County Recorder the first deed from Surdam conveying land in the Tract was issued to Bernhard Broderson, the second of America Philbrook and the third to Henry Klages. The map of the Tract was recorded in Book 2, page 139 of Miscellaneous Records in the office of the County Recorder of Ventura County. The map says the tract 1297.67 acres.

Through the courtesy of Clarence R, Young, secretary of the Southside Improvement Company now and for many years past, I have had access to the old minutes of Southside. From an economic side they give almost a full history of the growth of the community. For about the first twenty years of the life of Southside the place of business of the water company was at Hueneme. I became a bookkeeper and teller in Bank of Hueneme in 1895, where the Southside kept their funds. I can still remember seeing James Walker, Sr., Geo. N. King, J. R. McKee, Geo. A. Wengert, Diedrich Bartels and others of their stockholders in Hueneme on their meeting days. All of these men were part of the backbone of Bardsdale. J. S McKee was for years the agent of Bard in the sale of lands. Later Geo. N. King served in the same capacity. While working for Bank of Hueneme I had an opportunity to see the generous attitude of Mr. Bard toward all of these Bardsdale settlers. He was president of the Bank, Maj. Thos. J. Gregg the cashier. I recall hearing Maj. Gregg say to Mr. Bard one day that we had too much money on hand and the demand for loans was slow. Mr. Bard said, "I have quite a number of mortgages on Bardsdale property and would be willing to let you have some of them. However, it must be with the understanding that if you need your money at any time you must not annoy or bother the mortgagors. Just charge the paper back to my account." Many of the early settlers in Bardsdale told me after I came to Fillmore that if it had not been for the liberal attitude of Mr. Bard they would have had to lose their lands.

At a very early date there was organized in Bardsdale a German Evangelical Church. According to Mrs. Willis Burson (born Kate Baldeschwieler) the Sunday morning service was, in German and the evening service in English. I think Mrs. Burson is the only living attendant of these services, but the descendants of the early day members are among the best known and most respected members of the community. You run across the names Haase, Hassheider. Michel,
Bartels, Baldeschwieler (later changed to Balden), Ritzmann, Wengert and many others in the records. With the passage of time and the birth of another generation the Evangelical Church Ceased to appeal to the community and the Bardsdale Methodist Church was organized.

In 1948 they celebrated the 50th anniversary of the founding of the latter. Mrs. Willis Burson wrote a History of the Bardsdale Church in which she said: "As nearly as can be ascertained services were first conducted in Bardsdale German Evangelical Church under the auspices of the Methodist Church by Rev. George Alexander some time in 1892." The Methodist Church was organize-d in 1898. Her history abounds with the sacrifices made by the community to start and then to maintain their Church. Bardsdale has always been la strongly religious community and the Church has been a rallying point for many community efforts. Mrs. Burson states in her history that the lots for the Church building were given by Thomas R. Bard, and that he made other substantial donations also.

I suppose that one writing the story of Bardsdale should preface it with a reference to an earlier settlement, Stringtown, so called because it was a settlement in which the homes were along what was called Stringtown Ditch, one of the early day water rights in the County. The Stringtown Ditch had its beginning about two miles east of Chambersburg Road and ran as far west as that road. S. A. Guiberson and wife settled east of that and raised large family on lands now owned by the Shiells family. Their home dates from 1860.

Along the Stringtown Ditch lived the Morrison, the Horntons, the Baums, the Curlees, the Asbills and many others. Mrs. Hattie V. (Busick) King tells me that she came to live with her Aunt, Mrs. Guiberson, in 1884 the year of the big flood, when most of Stringtown settlers had their homes washed away by the Santa Clara. Mrs. King states that there were many children in that territory and that all of them went to school across the River, in Cienega schoolhouse. Later a school district was formed a Willow Grove, and still later one at Bardsdale. I mention so fully these items about schools and churches because in every new development in our Country they have been gathering places for the people.

When I first came to Fillmore in 1907, Bardsdale was largely given over to the raising of apricots. Each year about July first saw an influx of pitters with their tent and numerous children, coming from Los Angeles for the only vacation they were apt to have. As time went on the land became too valuable for the growing of ‘cots and the day of the orange and lemons arrived. Now one of the most beautiful sights in the County is the citrus groves in Bardsdale. Originally all water furnished by Southside arrived by gravity: now it is all pumped from wells along the river.

Bardsdale being Surdam’s greatest contribution to the County, it seems fitting that when he died he was laid to rest in the beautiful Bardsdale Cemetery, which looks out over the ranches he was instrumental in starting.

 
The City of Fillmore will spend roughly $200,000 to correct multiple violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act at Two Rivers Park in Fillmore. Restroom fixtures need modifying to meet requirements, along with the dog park. Money from developers of The Bridges subdivision, which was to be used for improvements such as new turf and lights for baseball and soccer fields will now be used to correct violations. Currently, playground equipment and skate park are closed due the COVID-19 health orders.
The City of Fillmore will spend roughly $200,000 to correct multiple violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act at Two Rivers Park in Fillmore. Restroom fixtures need modifying to meet requirements, along with the dog park. Money from developers of The Bridges subdivision, which was to be used for improvements such as new turf and lights for baseball and soccer fields will now be used to correct violations. Currently, playground equipment and skate park are closed due the COVID-19 health orders.
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On Monday, July 20th at 9:30am, crews blocked off part of 3rd Street near Fillmore First Assembly of God Church to work on powerlines in the area.
On Monday, July 20th at 9:30am, crews blocked off part of 3rd Street near Fillmore First Assembly of God Church to work on powerlines in the area.
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Fillmore’s Vallarta Restaurant has made the move to outside dining for customers as a result of the recent closure of indoor dining by the State of California due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fillmore’s Vallarta Restaurant has made the move to outside dining for customers as a result of the recent closure of indoor dining by the State of California due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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